Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver in the NFL today, of that there can be absolutely no argument. Ever since entering the National Football League in 2007, the Detroit Lions star leads receivers in average yards per game with a whopping 88.3 per contest.
But Johnson has been injured for most of the season, and as we all expected, Matthew Stafford and the rest of Lions offense has suffered hugely with the giant #81 sitting on the sidelines.
And even when Megatron has managed to get out on the field this year, head coach Jim Caldwell has used him more as a decoy, taking the attention of the defense away from lesser receivers such as Golden Tate and Corey Fuller.
And with the Lions in London this week, Johnson is in a race against time to be fit for the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley stadium. And at the moment it is looking like one race that the fleet-footed Johnson won't be winning.
Johnson is currently listed as questionable to play on Sunday, but he hasn't been able to train fully all week with a high ankle strain that has kept him limited in practice this week at the team's temporary base in Bagshot, at a 5 star hotel just outside London.
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And Johnson is keeping his cards close to his chest, knowing the potential for the injury to get worse if he pushes too far.
“You want to push it, I want to push it, but we’re trying to be smart about it. It’s getting better and better but you don’t want to get to that point where we get a setback.”
Johnson did however note that he had starting running again as well as turning and cutting on the ankle. But, when we saw him on the practice field running drills he was very limited and didn't break into a full sprint once, running at about 30% of his capability when catching balls.
If Megatron plays he won't be fully healthy, but an injured Calvin Johnson is still good enough to make big plays when it matters.